We didn’t spend that much time in Chile, so here are just some basic information.
What we liked
–good possibilities to climb high volcanoes (although you’ll likely need a permit to do so)
–good standarts in terms of shops and accommodation
What we didn’t like
–Coming from Bolivia, Chile is expensive. But if you eat out less and camp a bit more often it’s quite affordable also for money conscious longterm travellers.
–People aren’t so warm and welcoming as in Peru & Bolivia.
–Chile is a bit more restricted in terms of camping and has stricter rules about what to do and not to do in national parks.
Travel season / weather
The season really depends whether you stay in the Andes or at the cost. And because Chile is such a long country, the weather also varies enormous between the north and the far south. December to February is the time to be in Patagonia.
Basic knowledge of Spanish is very helpful. English is only spoken in bigger towns.
Santiago de Chile is the biggest hub. Keep in mind that Chile is huge and bus travel can take ages…
Routes we’ve ridden
–We rode parts of the „Ruta de la vicunas“ http://www.bikepacking.com/routes/ruta-de-las-vicunas-northern-chile/ It’s a nice route to ride although there is quite a bit of mining traffic…
–We then rode over Paso Sico from San Pedro de Atacama to Argentina http://www.bikepacking.com/routes/bikepacking-paso-sico-argentina-chile/ Paso Sico offers stunning landscape and great tarmac. After bumpy Bolivia this is a welcoming change…
Check out our blog posts about Chile http://www.sinvia.ch/category/chile/
Routes we’ve thinked about riding but didn’t…
Here a few thoughts about why we haven’t ridden certain routes. Please make your own research to get an idea if you’ll like those routes or not.
Paso San Francisco
We run out of time so we didn’t cross over Paso San Francisco. It’s supposed to be a stunning pass, but be aware that the winds in this area can be crazy. There is also a lack of water on the Chilean side of the pass. Further information is available on www.andesbybike.com
ATM’s are available in bigger villages.
USD can be changed sometimes in touristic areas or bigger citys. Take enough cash with you. We tried to keep cash for a week of traveling as a reserve.
Double room without bath: 30 USD
Set meal: 5-7 USD
Bottled water 0.5l: 0.5-1USD
Bus ride: we didn’t take a bus in Chile, but we got to know that it can be hard taking a bike on a bus…
Available in most towns, can be quite pricy in touristy areas.
Good variety including stuff like „Couscous“ and other treats.
Good bike shops in bigger towns and touristy areas. Also good online shops to order spare parts.
Gravel roads can be very sandy and rough, but there are also perfectly sealed tarmac roads.
Deep Down Dark: The Untold Stories of 33 Men Buried in a Chilean Mine, and the Miracle That Set Them Free
There is a website who shows where robberys on cyclists took place in South America: https://nicholasgault.com/known-hotspots-in-latin-america/